Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Innovation takes balls and trust

+ Innovation is something that many want, yet are afraid to do. Everyone wants to be the first to achieve a unique success, but no one wants to be the one to take the risk. Especially when it comes to brands. So many are followers or wait for someone else to do it first.

Which leads to a question of how do you get someone to become more comfortable with the uncomfortable state of innovation?

1) TRUST
You need to build trust between your agency and the client. And the client needs trust up through their internal chain of command as well. Without trust, you cannot overcome the challenge of becoming comfortable with the risk related to innovation.

2) DEVELOP A PROCESS
Create a path for innovation. It's not about random acts of innovation. Create a group of decision makers who will push through approvals quickly. The process should built in a way to be nimble, adaptable, and scalable. As you embrace more innovation, you'll want to be able to use the process in many different ways.

3) START SMALL
Blowing up a business plan isn't necessary to innovate. Start small. Take small risks. Learn from them. Discover areas where you can be more risky and leave more risk-adverse pieces of your business alone until you feel comfortable incorporating them into your innovation process.

4) LEARN, ADAPT, REPEAT
Innovation is partly about failure. You need to accept this and be ready to learn from your mistakes. Take the learnings and adapt them to increase your success rate, or bin the idea and start over from scratch. It's an iterative process that will not necessarily be a slam dunk on the first go.

Innovation takes many forms, but there is no reason your agency, client, or even you can't apply certain applications of innovation to your business models. It just takes the courage to jump in and start.

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